Don’t ex­cuse be­hav­ior

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

With In­de­pen­dence Day around the cor­ner, I will at­test to the fact that I love the United States of Amer­ica, its val­ues, prin­ci­ples, and ideals. Yet, I am dis­mayed, re­pelled, and em­bar­rassed by much of our pres­i­dent’s be­hav­ior. He is rude, coarse, vain­glo­ri­ous, du­plic­i­tous to the core, and de­mean­ing of women and mi­nori­ties.

As a ca­reer ed­u­ca­tor of more than 40 years, I de­plore the ex­am­ple that Pres­i­dent Trump sets for young peo­ple (adults, too). I prize that we have the free­dom to be­lieve what we wish and to ex­press our views freely, short of hate and sedi­tion. The pres­i­dent seems to test even th­ese lim­its with his undis­ci­plined, ut­terly dis­re­spect­ful rants. And he does not like crit­i­cism. Wel­come to lead­er­ship in a demo­cratic so­ci­ety.

Does Don­ald J. Trump un­der­stand the Con­sti­tu­tion, the Bill of Rights, the coun­try’s his­tory? What would Wash­ing­ton, Jef­fer­son, Madi­son, or Lin­coln think if they were alive to­day? And be­lieve what you will about health care. Choose a side. This is a free coun­try, as we say. But who among us would sug­gest that the cur­rent de­bate might as well fal­ter to ab­ject fail­ure so that we have noth­ing to rely on? Who among us who truly cares about all Amer­i­cans of ev­ery eco­nomic cir­cum­stance would turn his or her back on any ci­ti­zen out of dis­re­gard or care­less­ness? Those who de­fend and dis­sem­ble the pres­i­dent’s non­sen­si­cal, mean, and vi­cious state­ments ought to think long and hard about their own mo­tives.

Of late, Amer­ica has clearly lost stand­ing around the globe. I ar­dently be­lieve that the world is far bet­ter when the U.S. leads. I am con­fi­dent that we will re­gain stature and re­spon­si­bil­ity, but only when thought­ful, morally coura­geous lead­ers step for­ward and work col­lab­o­ra­tively for the greater good. While not re­quir­ing agree­ment, the re­pub­lic de­mands self­less­ness, in­tegrity, ci­vil­ity, and back­bone if it is to thrive. Where is our mod­ern day Cincin­na­tus?

I will re­main hope­ful. ARNOLD E. HOLTBERG

Hot Springs Vil­lage

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.